Techdirt's Comments To The FCC On Net Neutrality And Preserving An Open Internet

from the speak-up dept

While the FCC has thankfully extended its deadline for filing comments on the net neutrality issue through Friday after its site melted down (again), I also wanted to share with you exactly what it is that we’re submitting to the FCC. In short: we support reclassification under Title II in combination with clear forbearance, to limit the regulatory power of the FCC to just the specific issues dealing with keeping the internet free and open for competition. We note how important this has been to us on a variety of levels. For example, as a small company, we’ve been able to effectively compete against much larger news organizations. That would be much more difficult when those organizations could negotiate and pay to be on “fast lanes” while smaller operations like ourselves would be unable to do so.

Furthermore, we note the harm that this would cause to free speech. Given that we are frequent critics of the major broadband players, it’s likely that even if we were able to afford to pay for “priority access,” those companies would make it difficult for us to actually do so, using some sort of pretense to limit the ability of vocal critics to get access to the “fast” internet.

In addition, we urge the FCC not to ignore the interconnection issue, by which broadband access players have “shifted” the debate away from the last mile, but have effectively achieved the same result: getting big internet companies to pay double for the bandwidth consumers already thought they were paying for. Beyond that, though, we hope that the FCC will actually do what it’s been promising for the better part of a decade and encourage actual competition in a variety of ways: knocking down barriers to entry, increasing (vastly) the amount of spectrum available and exploring possibilities to encourage competition at the service level, rather than just at the network level. You can read our entire comment below. While some friends in Washington DC have promised to deliver our comments by hand today, we’ll keep trying the electronic way as well. Hopefully we’ll get them delivered by the end of the week.

PS: If you like our reporting on net neutrality issues, please consider supporting our crowdfunding campaign, which will allow us to put even more resources towards reporting on this key issue.

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Comments on “Techdirt's Comments To The FCC On Net Neutrality And Preserving An Open Internet”

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28 Comments
Timothy Karr (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Lines like this should be the tip off:

“If the FCC successfully reclassifies broadband under Title II, private 
investment and important innovation would come to a standstill.”

It’s often repeated by the shilling class, even though we have shown the opposite to be true historically: Internet service providers invested more in network improvement and build out when they were classified under Title II.

Ninja (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Rats, there goes my Old MacDonnald joke!

So let us rewrite it:

My name is Sarah and I’m a sex worker in [insert impossible to spell small city name] and net neutrality harms my work. You see, if online porn is given the same priority as any other traffic it will drive business away from me. Think of the hookers!

There. Disclaimer: I support sex workers but I couldn’t help using this awesome stereotype of online nerds and hookers. Sry =/

Anonymous Coward says:

I think you have ignored the elephant in the room, many broadband companies are also cable companies, and cable cutting is hurting their bottom line. Will they try and and charge the Internet based competitors out of business, or at least to a level to more than replace the income (and not just profit) they are losing from cord cutting. Also, if the charges are not fixed, how will Youtube and the like fair, especially as they also cause significant reverse traffic?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Sorry, iwas not clear, By Intrenet competitors to the likes of Comcast, I mean Netflix, Hulu, YouTube etc. That is content providers, and content hosts, that use the Internet to deliver their Content.
Also for final mile Internet, the choice has been DSL from the telcos, or cable broadband from the local Cable company. As a result broadband delivery has become dominated by cable companies, who thought that the Internet would be an auxiliary service to their customers, but are now finding that it is cutting into their cable TV subscriptions. They are losing subscriptions to extra packages, even if they are maintaining basic subscriptions by packaging it with broadband service.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Maybe they shouldn’t offer internet service then if they can’t compete.

If they didn’t want to play the internet game, then they shouldn’t be an internet participant. EVERYONE ELSE has to serve internet traffic the same way that everyone always has. Why should they get special exception just because their profits are being hurt?

Isn’t protecting companies because their profits are hurting the opposite of the free market approach we’ve always pretended to adhere to in America?

Whatever (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

There is an interesting problem though: What happens if they decide to do exactly that and shut down? What happens when nobody is doing the final mile?

What happens if offering final mile service isn’t really economically viable? Or what happens when companies like Google “buy” the file mile and then decide to filter things out or route all the traffic through their ad networks?

Almost everyone praises Google Fiber, but I cannot think of anything less net neutral than allowing the biggest internet middleman to also control the final mile. It’s hiring a drunk to be a security guard at the liquor store.

Michael (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Providing internet service has been INCREDIBLY profitable for the cable companies. They are making farm more money now than they were just providing cable.

It would be a great thing if they decided to collect their marbles and go home. I would be at the front of the line investing in a company that wanted to replace them if they opted to stop providing the service – there would be a huge customer base for any company to come in and fill that last mile gap.

The cable companies have no interest in not providing internet service. They know it is going to entirely replace their cable TV offerings at some point, but they are going to squeeze every last nickel they can out of the old business as well – and if they can manage to also pressure companies like Netflix into folding or selling to them, they can get their hands on the content portion of the business as well.

TestPilotDummy says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

“Providing internet service has been INCREDIBLY profitable for the cable companies. They are making farm more money now than they were just providing cable.”

I can’t speak to CABEL COMPANIES, but if you have just a stupid ass VPS with some balls and it get’s DDoSED, your fsckin profits as you say are shitin the toilet bowl in which ever direction spins the fastest and screw the hemispheres!

Want to talk small ISP? How many hours you fsck with customers? Why aren’t they “intelligence wise” as smart as god damn fuckin general fcc license test equals? And ya know now with the NSA shiz. who would take that test but a retard? Instead, LEARN electronics, support HEATHKIT type shit, dis the Surface mount SPY fkwds, and lets SDR some tubes into the future without that CHEAP BITCH MA BELL!!

Good God why don’t comments come out like mine?

Anonymous Coward says:

I fully support Techdirt’s position on net neutrality. That being said, the head of the FCC is a telco lobbyist and former President of the National Cable Television Association and former CEO of Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association.

It’s no accident that he’s been appointed chairman of the FCC. He’s been given a mission which is to destroy net neutrality and usher in a new era of double dip profits for the incumbent telco players.

We are screwed. Title II classification will never happen. Wheeler will allow fast lanes contracts to proceed, while saying he’ll “monitor these deal closely for anti-competitive behavior”.

He’ll then finish out his term at the FCC, and than take a job at one of the major telco companies. Just like the last FCC offical, Meredith Attwell Baker did after the Comcast/NBC Universal merger.

Anybody taking bets on this outcome? I’ll give 2:1 odds for anyone betting against the revolving door.

Whatever (profile) says:

Re: Re:

He’s been given a mission which is to destroy net neutrality and usher in a new era of double dip profits for the incumbent telco players.

O’rly?

I think the FCC will decline to get involved at all, not wanting to get suckered into taking a stance on either side that will be considered a loser. The will refer the whole thing to congress, who will fail (as they always do because the Republican’t want it that way) to accomplish anything until Obama is out of office, then magically everything will happen.

Net Neutrality is one of those red herring stories. There is no such thing currently, there has never been. You are always subject to the peering arrangements of your ISP, the destination site’s hosting, and so on. There is no absolute equality either real or imagined.

TestPilotDummy says:

might have noticed I avoided this one….

Ya know in intel there is awareness.

You’ve been in that party, couple, two, three, five, seven, nine

You F-in know they’re making jokes down on ya.

Ya can’t pay attention though cause TOO much something, too much Awake, too much lack of Sleep, too much not eatin, too much no sex, too much shiny distractions, in the end the rake your ass over the coals, your out your money, keys, girlfriend, whatever, you just lost, cause these fine people payed attention, while you /I did not.

By the time the 335 Million SHEEP turn, it’s gonna hurt. I kno I am being both prophetic and foolish puttin this out, but I ALSO will be vindicated in HISTORY.

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